You bet the Cleveland Browns are just fine with Brian Hoyer, Alex Tanney and Tyler Thigpen at quarterback---little wonder they passed on Johnny Manziel with the eighth pick in last night’s draft. To their credit they traded back into the first round later and picked him up…so maybe there is some hope for the Browns after all.
The first changeup of the night out of Jacksonville with the third pick, of course when you’re picking third you have all kinds of needs, but after signing Chad Henne to a two year deal quarterback didn’t appear one of them. So it was a bit of a surprise that they went with Blake Bortles, a prototypical pocket passer out of Central Florida. Daunte Culpepper is the only other first rounder ever produced at UCF, if Bortles turns out like him the Jags got a good. Then again if he turns out like Blaine Gabbert, the last quarterback Jacksonville took in the first round…well, that’s a problem.
The moment was perfect---Johnny Manziel was available at the 16th pick for the Dallas Cowboys. ‘Boys owner Jerry Jones is just the type of maverick who could see the value of a personality like Manziel beyond his prowess on the field. The only rub, said all the experts, was that the Cowboys desperately needed defense and that a pick of Manziel would send a bad signal about addressing their immediate needs. So what do they do? Pick an offensive tackle of course.
Interestingly, the Browns doubled back to get Maziel late in the first round. Cleveland has started 20 different quarterbacks since rejoining the NFL in 1999.
I was disappointed that the Saints took receiver Brandon Cooks with the 20th pick because I would have liked to see him with the Kansas City Chiefs. Then I was bummed that Manziel was taken in the slot right before the KC pick, because I thought it would have been interesting to see if the Chiefs would’ve been tempted.
I really wanted to see the Chiefs go with a receiver, but the one I liked for them had already been taken, so maybe they feel they can fill their most pressing offensive need in later rounds. Even with a really deep receiving class the problem for the Chiefs, as of right now, is that the Chiefs don’t have a second round pick.
Ford, out of Auburn, is a good pass rusher and you can’t have enough of those—but I’m guessing most fans will be a bit underwhelmed by the pick.
“I really like this pick”---
---it may have been the most often uttered phrase on ESPN’s draft coverage. Just once I would have liked Jon Gruden to have lambasted a pick, although I did enjoy the tension between him and Mel Kiper, especially over the worth of Manziel. I did think that Gruden and Ray Lewis were really well versed and insightful.
No running backs?
We’ll have to see how the early picks go in the second round, but this could be the first time in draft history that a running back isn’t taken in the top 40 picks. Part of that is the lack of a sure fire star but the devaluation of the running back in the pass happy NFL continues to be one of the biggest changes in philosophy over the past couple of years.